Prospect's Kavanagh excited about opportunity at Drake

  • Prospect senior Kelly Kavanagh will take her golfing talents to Drake University next year.

      Prospect senior Kelly Kavanagh will take her golfing talents to Drake University next year. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/16/2019 6:51 PM

For Prospect senior Kelly Kavanagh, she now gets her kicks out of playing golf.

The former soccer player will continue her career on the golf course at Drake University in Iowa where she play at the Division I level while studying business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

She has been all business with her golf once she left the soccer pitch.

"For a majority of my childhood I had prioritized soccer over golf, so college golf wasn't always the goal," said Kavanagh, who was fourth in the 2018 Mid-Suburban League meet at Palatine Hills. "After a year of taking lessons and playing competitively, I had made it a goal of mine to play D-I golf."

Kavanagh's older brother Jack played golf in former coach Tom Martindale's program for four years.

"He encouraged me to play," Kelly said. "However, it was (Jim) Hamann's (former hall of fame girls coach now coaching the Prospect boys) encouragement when I was younger that made me motivated to improve and take it more seriously.

"My dad also loved to golf, so that helped, too."

Kavanagh helped the Knights win the MSL East championship last fall and as a sophomore, she shot a 72 in the regional. At the time, it was her lowest round.

"Although I have since shot lower, I can remember how happy and accomplished I felt that day," Kavanagh said. "The team had also advanced to sectionals that day so we all had a reason to celebrate."

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

With a full season ahead for her senior year, she hopes to be celebrating more in high school before moving on to Des Moines.

"When I'm older, I hope to work at an ethical company that aims to protect the environment and spread awareness about pollution," she said. "Ultimately, my goal would be to return to school and receive another degree in political science in hopes I can spread my ideas on global warming to a larger audience."

Prospect first-year coach Brad Rathe got to know Kavanagh when she was a student in his American Studies class last year.

"She is a hardworking dependable student who is incredibly easy going," Rathe said. "I knew upon taking the job that she would be the backbone of the team this year, but what I didn't know is how great of a leader she would be."

Rathe says Kavanagh is like a second coach.

"And she has been an excellent mentor to the younger kids on the team," he added. "She is the definition of Prospect golf and I expect some great things from her this year and going forward."

Kavanagh is grateful to many that she has gotten to this point.

"A lot of people made this all possible but I would probably thank all of my coaches the most," Kavanagh said. "Hamann introduced me to my swing coach, John Elliot Jr., and always encouraged me to get involved. They shaped my swing and taught me about the mental aspect of golf. Along with them, my parents have always been incredibly supportive and helpful."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

And Kavanagh's low scores have been quite helpful to the Knights, who are undefeated in the MSL along with Barrington.

"My favorite part about golf is the team aspect," she said. "Although golf is technically an individual sport on the course, playing golf at Prospect has allowed me to meet an amazing group of girls. We are all very close friends, and I am so lucky to have made such amazing memories with them over the past few years."

Berggren to hall

Former Barrington standout Ashley Berggren will be inducted this fall with the 2019 class into the University of Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame. She finished her career as Illinois' most accomplished women's basketball player. She was named the 1997 Big Ten Player of the Year after leading the Illini to its first Big Ten championship. Berggren earned third-team all-American honors in 1998 after receiving honorable-mention all-American recognition in 1996 and 1997. Her jersey hangs in her honor from the rafters of the State Farm Center.

Baseball

Former Rolling Meadows baseball standout Don Spaniak, who was an assistant coach for years with Terry Beyna at Elk Grove, got his first head coaching job at Coronado High School in Scottsdale, AZ.

Top honor

Former Alabama-Birmingham standout Deanna Kuzmanic is one of the Top 30 honorees for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year Award which is named by the Woman of the Year selection committee.

The Wheeling High School graduate finished her collegiate career with 1,536 points, the 11th most in program history

The Top 30 honorees were selected from an initial pool of 585 school nominees, a program record.

The Top 30 will be celebrated and the Woman of the Year will be named Oct. 20 at a ceremony in Indianapolis.

Cross country

North Central senior Dianne Barajas (Schaumburg) was selected as the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin 'Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week. Barajas finished 13th in the 5K (19:02.1) during the UW-Parkside Vic Godfrey Invitational. Competing against a mix of Division I, II and III institutions, the Cardinals took fifth with 125 points.

Football

Augustana junior safety John Kappel (Wheeling) had an interception and 9 tackles in the Vikings' 41-3 win over Coe in the Knowlton Kickoff Classic at Lindbergh Stadium.

Vikings senior running back Bobby Jarosz (Prospect) rushed for 113 yards on 21 carries.

• Please email Sports Notes items to jleusch@dailyherald.com

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.